A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference. Both were taken to a local hospital, where Belmar said they were conscious. He said he did not have further details about their conditions but described their injuries as “serious.”
The shots were fired as protesters had gathered following the resignation of Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday. Authorities from multiple agencies had gathered outside of the department.
The protest was a familiar scene in Ferguson, which saw similar and much larger demonstrations after the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer by city police officer Darren Wilson. When Wilson, who is white, was cleared in November by a state grand jury, the decision that set off further protests, looting and fires.
Before the shooting Thursday, some at the protest were chanting to show they weren’t satisfied with the resignations of Jackson and City Manager John Shaw.
Marciay Pitchford, 20, was among the protesters outside the police department. He told The Associated Press the protest had been mostly peaceful until he heard the shots ring out.
“I saw the officer go down and the other police officers drew their guns while other officers dragged the injured officer away,” Pitchford said. “All of a sudden everybody started running or dropping to the ground,” he said.
After the shooting, officers with guns and in riot gear circled the station and more than a dozen squad cars blocked the street.